Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made at least $250,000 in his first public speaking event in Abu Dhabi. The handsome paycheck exceeded the entirety of his 2013 earnings as head of the Fed.
According to one CNBC commentator, Bernanke, whom conservatives railed against for his quantitative easing approach to righting the wrongs of the American economy since he was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2006, “was under the impression the entire global economy rested with his ability to print money.”
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was applauded by The Wall Street Journal for her criticism of Bernanke in 2010. Palin’s remarks excoriated Bernanke’s policy of printing approximately $85 billion per month and pumping it into the economy: “We don’t want temporary, artificial economic growth brought at the expense of permanently higher inflation which will erode the value of our incomes and our savings.”
The former GOP vice presidential nominee added, “We want a stable dollar combined with real economic reform. It’s the only way we can get our economy back on the right track.”
It is predicted that Bernanke, 60, should be able to command around $250,000 per speech for some time, according to his lawyers and speaking-circuit agents. The paycheck “sounds reasonable to me,” said one agent who did not want to be identified. Moreover, he added that Bernanke could have a “very long shelf life.”
“He will obviously be enjoying the fruits of the free market,” said Jan Baran, a partner and head of the election law and government ethics group at Wiley Rein LLP, a Washington law firm. “He will personally experience supply and demand.” Attendees paid $2,000 each to listen to Bernanke and other speakers, including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.
Meanwhile, Bill Clinton still represents the pinnacle of achievement regarding speaking stipends. Some estimates have him earning three times what Bernanke pulled down for his speech in Dubai.